We’re wrapping up summer and getting ready to head back to school around here – how about you? There’s a few more days for free time and fun, and then we’ll get down to business and keep most of the “play” to the weekends. Even though kids will get busier when school begins again, they still need to stay active around the house with things like chores and special projects. After all, they need to know that they bring something to the table and are a contributing member of the household as well, right?
So when retired DIY expert David Glenn contacted me with the idea for this post on projects and chores that the kiddos can do on their own, well, I thought it was fantastic! See how it speaks to YOUR kids!
Young children are often eager to help their parents with various projects and chores, but many parents are hesitant out of fear of their children getting in the way. However, children as young as three years old can do basic chores and projects, learning responsibility and independence at a young age.
According to Scholastic, children from the ages of three to five have the motor skills to ride a tricycle, catch a ball, tie their shoelaces, and button up their own jackets.
Children of this age can do many things, including a few chores and projects by themselves. For example, include the little one in your dish-washing process. When you’re getting ready to clear the table, let him or her help collect dishes and put them in the sink. When you’re rinsing the dishes off and getting ready to put them in the dishwasher, hand them to your four-year-old and teach him or her how to load the dishwasher.
In addition to chores, children at this age can also do projects on their own.
Children from the ages of three to five are able to make their own bird feeders! Children will watch in amazement as neighborhood birds flock toward their feeders. With peanut butter, craft sticks, bird seed, toilet paper rolls, and twine, your child can practice reusing materials to make a feeder. Kids will enjoy coating the cardboard roll with peanut butter, and sneaking a taste, but they may like rolling it in birdseed even more. Finally, with a little help hanging their feeder, kids will bask in the satisfaction of watching birds devour a bird feeder that they made with their own two hands. For the full tutorial, you can view it here.
From the ages of six to eight, children are eager to help with tasks they see as “adult-only,” such as cooking. It’s time to let them start helping in the kitchen and even start to create some meals of their own. Cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, salads, and many more opportunities await your child in the kitchen. Teaching children to use basic kitchen appliances would also expand what they are able to make on their own. For example, teaching them to use the microwave would introduce them to various microwavable dishes, not to mention heat in general and kitchen safety.
Creativity blossoms in children at the ages of six to eight. Kids want to explore and play with kinesthetic materials, such as paint, to create something they can use. With a baby food jar, acrylic paint, a permanent marker, and a paint brush, kids are able to make their own storage jar. Children would pour the paint in the container, shake the jar, and decorate the outside with the marker and paint. Kids will proudly take their personalized jars to school to store pencils or other supplies inside. There is a detailed video here on this process.
Responsibility presents itself in many ways, although many children hope it comes in the form of a dog. Around the ages of nine to twelve, children have fallen into the age of responsibility, gaining many privileges as a result. A popular privilege is caring for a pet. Pets are often viewed as an extension of the family, therefore everyone’s responsibility. Children at this age are fully capable of washing their family dog. It’s a great opportunity to teach children responsibility in a fun way, especially in the summer when they can go outside and use the hose. It’s also important to choose the right dog shampoo. My personal favorite is Nature’s Remedies Dog Shampoo, since it’s organic and has no harmful chemicals to the child or the dog, however there are plenty of other options to choose from.
Throughout their pre-teen years, nine to twelve, children constantly look for something fun and interesting to get their hands into. Tie-dying a piece of clothing is the perfect thing to keep their hands busy and they get something out of it. Kids would need a tie-dye kit, rubber bands, and a shirt, or something else that’s fabric. Children would wash the fabric, twirl the fabric, add the rubber bands and color, store it, and rinse it when it’s ready. Children may feel that tie-dying is outdated, but with the different techniques Tulip provides, they will want to push their creativity to see what they can come up with.
From as young as three years of age, kids can help around the house with chores and keep themselves busy with projects they love. From bird feeders to tie-dye and dishes to dog washes, children are capable and proud of helping by doing things themselves.
About the Author: David Glenn is a parent, grandparent and a DIY expert. He spent most of his career working in real estate working with fix and flips, giving him a lot of insight into DIY projects. He often jokes about wishing that he had Pinterest to use before he retired.
Thanks so much, David! I especially love the idea of getting kids familiar with the kitchen at an early age!
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